Monday, July 02, 2007

Guadalcanal Diary et al.

It has come to my attention after reading the comments on the last post that some of you are lacking in proper alternative rock and/or janglepop musical education.

Yes there was a book and a movie of the same name, but Guadalcanal Diary was also -- not just a band as FC put it -- one of the best bands of the 80s. (Oh great Murray Attaway please excuse him, FC's a Jimmy Buffet fan.)

YouTube is a lot less fun now nowdays and this is the only Guadalcanal video that hasn't been yanked. It's not my favorite of their songs but it's still good: Watusi Rodeo.

I'm not sure what they are up to nowdays but I hope they kept themselves a few copies of At Your Birthday Party (not the Steppenwolf one) to sell on Ebay.

Another of my favorite bands whose name you could confuse with a movie, They Might be Giants:

Birdhouse in Your Soul

This next one requires slightly more effort. I can't embed it so you'll have to click here: Bearing Witness. But you should, you really should. It's a song from one of the most perfect albums ever made, Rough Night in Jericho. (Yes, another movie title, I know!) They broke up a long time ago but band's name is Dreams So Real. It occurs to me that there's a remote possibility Wayne or Glenn might know the singer, Barry Marler. In a "Oh you both work at that place with 10,000 employees so I'm sure you must know him" kind of way.

It messes with my continuity here since as far as I know there is no movie by the same name, but you should also see Blue Rodeo, if you haven't already. They are often called alt-country.

Trust Yourself

Got all that? Quiz next week.


Update: Here's another DSR video, this one for Rough Night in Jericho.


P.S. FC, I really don't have anything in particular against Jimmy Buffet. But I had a good friend in college (from Florida, big surprise!) who would only play Jimmy Buffet, so I had enough of that to last me for the rest of my life. I hear that Jimmy's sister's restaurant is mighty fine.


Tracy said...

I knew I should have posted about Guadalcanal Diary on your last post! When you mentioned them, I went right back to college. (And when some of your commenters said they thought you meant the book, I thought, "What book?") Spouse is burning some albums to digital, and now I will have to get out Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man just to re-live that first moment of hearing GD.

robin andrea said...

I've heard of They Might Be Giants (saw the movie too!), but never heard of Guadalcanal Diary until your recent post. Now I'm wondering what I was listening to in the 80s because it wasn't anything you listed. I remember Tom Waits (Into the heart of Saturday Night), Men at Work (I come from the land down under), and Dire Straits (Money for the nothing and the chicks for free).

Annie in Austin said...

Another 'They Might Be Giants' fan here - loved the movie, too, so thanks for the video. I don't remember your other favorites, Rurality - only Tom Waits has attained demigod status in our family.

Philo & I listened to whatever came blasting out of our kids' rooms - it could be heavy metal from one room, and The Cure or Depeche Mode from another.

Guess it will be an automatic 'F' on the quiz!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

meresy_g said...

Ha. Haven't heard Guadalcanal Diary since high school. ANd I used to loooove TMBG. I still know all the words to Birdhouse and I also loved Istanbul was Constantinople. I really should get an Ipod. Bring me back to those days sitting in the beanbag watching 120 minutes on Mtv on Suday nights and all the alt. bands.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the music education. I hadn't heard of any of these. Or of the movies either for that matter. My knowledge of pop music mostly ended about 1980, except for the occasional singer that captures my attention on NPR. I kind of like Guadacanal Diary.


Floridacracker said...


Guadalcanal Diary is a movie?
I read the BOOK as a teenager (for all you folks who never heard of the book, it's an on the ground, eyewitness account of the retaking of the island of Guadalcanal during WWII)It's a true tale that sticks with you.
I believe it was written by Ernie Pyle, the famous WWII war correspondent.

I have to wait until I'm in a library or somewhere with broadband to watch the clips ... sorry, too painfully slow on dialup.

Is this some kind of frozen confection?

You mentioned Steppenwolf ... sort of, NOW that is a group I love.

I like your college roomie's musical taste.

Now I have to go investigate Jimmy's sister's restaurant.

Rurality said...

I'm so glad some of you like G.D. too.

Tracy, I think I'm going to pull out my CDs today too and listen again.

Robin Andrea, these bands were sort of hard to find. My main sources were 120 minutes (weekly show on MTV) and my hairdresser, who liked the same music. He had a LOT of connections, music-wise, and was always playing something cool and new when I went in. I did like Dire Straits too though -I still listen to "Brothers in Arms" fairly often. And I still think that they are one of the few bands who could play just as well (or better) on stage as in the studio.

Annie, I like Tom Waits but mainly in small doses... but maybe I have just not heard enough of him.

Meredith, I got an iPod and now feel so modern. :) I have such fond memories of 120 Minutes!

Bill, I find that I like a lot of today's music too. The problem is that they never play any of the good stuff on the radio, at least not around here anyway. Plus you have to be tricky, because of course young people would be embarrassed if they knew some old person like me liked the same music they did. :)

FC I really do need to read the book too. For slow connections on the clips, you can hit play, then hit pause. Go do something else. Read another blog. Come back to that page and then hit play again and it should stream with no problem.

I heard a story on the radio recently that said most people's musical taste is frozen to the era of what was popular when they were in high school or college. I would say that REM is still my favorite, but I love a lot of newer music too. I'll have to do a post on that later on.

KFarmer said...

Jimmy is still one of my favorites and his music always puts me in a good mood- And yes, I have S.Wolf albums... It is in the era I guess, cuz I've never heard of those bands :)

Checked out Lulu's and must say when ever I'm out that way, I will have to stop. Her menu look yummy and I started slobbering all over myself just reading through. Thanks for the heads up :)

PS- I have most of REM cd's too. I thought I heard it throught the grapevine some time ago that they were coming out with a new cd but have not seen hide nor hair of it yet:)

Cookie Jill said...

Ooooh...thanks for the education!

When's the next class? ;-)

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Heh... my best friend Jess used to play "Birdhouse in Your Soul" a lot during our college radio station show. I often picked "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" instead if we wanted to throw in a good TMBG song.

Off to listen to Guadalcanal Diary...

megabeth said...

I listened to Guadalcanal Diary in high school, during the days of just getting a car and thinking that we were so cool for driving ourselves around.

I went to Lulu's when it was on Mobile Bay, before they moved it. Fun atmosphere, pretty good food (I remember a tuna dip that was tasty)

Rurality said...

OK that Guadalcanal Diary video got yanked, so try here if you want to see it.